Previous news story    Next news story

World Press Photo announces 2012 contest winners

By dpreview staff on Feb 11, 2012 at 00:08 GMT

Spanish photographer Samuel Aranda has won the World Press Photo 2011 award. The prize comes for his image of a woman holding a relative wounded during protests against Yemen's President Saleh. The World Press Photo Contest 2012 also awarded prizes in 18 other categories ranging from Arts and Entertainment to Portraits. Some of these images may be familiar from news coverage throughout the year but they make a compelling and inspiring reminder of the breadth of photography, even within the confines of press usage.

World Press Photo 2011

  Samuel Aranda, Spain, for The New York Times

All the winning and runner-up images can be seen at the World Press Photo website and are well worth a look:

Comments

Total comments: 173
12
chris00nj
By chris00nj (Feb 11, 2012)

Ninja checks pulse of guy whose neck he just snapped. What is so special about that?

11 upvotes
meanwhile
By meanwhile (Feb 12, 2012)

While it would be extremely special as I don't believe you'll find many photos of ninjas, especially in action, that's in pretty poor taste.

0 upvotes
peelu
By peelu (Feb 12, 2012)

Ahah best response yet!

2 upvotes
CFynn
By CFynn (Feb 12, 2012)

@chris00nj

That's sick

2 upvotes
chris00nj
By chris00nj (Feb 13, 2012)

CFynn,

If you need a caption to explain the photo, then it is not award worthy.

0 upvotes
EvokeEmotion
By EvokeEmotion (Feb 16, 2012)

I have won photo competition BECAUSE of my caption accompanying my photo. The world is a big place, go look around sometimes.

0 upvotes
mike kobal
By mike kobal (Feb 11, 2012)

I really wonder if those leaving the most immature and retarded comments would have posted if they had bothered to take a look at the series this photograph is part of. Fascinating to see such lack of humanitarian values and respect expressed by a large number of pixel peepers here on dpreview, a sad day for photography, for sure.

18 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Feb 11, 2012)

Do not go overboard, Mike

1 upvote
Colin Dutton
By Colin Dutton (Feb 11, 2012)

I agree with Mike. A lot of these comments have made me cringe. This is obviously not the place to talk about photography. I appreciate that DPR is starting to include news events that go beyond the technical but this level of response is just embarrassing.

4 upvotes
Chris2J
By Chris2J (Feb 11, 2012)

Morons are everywhere ...

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Feb 11, 2012)

Death with velvet glove is taking him away

1 upvote
Philz
By Philz (Feb 11, 2012)

Yes, Michelangelo ... and Podgorski

http://www.gregor-podgorski.com/index_rub_3_mod_pieta.css.html

(click on the six slide shows at the left)

1 upvote
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Feb 11, 2012)

Michaelangelo and Podgorski mmm. or maybe even Jeff Koons and Cicciolina?

1 upvote
Philz
By Philz (Feb 11, 2012)

Oh I didn't know the Jejff Koons. Funny! I couldn't find Cicciolina though

0 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Feb 11, 2012)

She must have ducked out for coffee and a fag.

0 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 11, 2012)

A well deserved prize. Samuel Aranda's photo is wonderful, teeming with emotional content and expression. It has the potential to become one of the greatest photographs of all times.

3 upvotes
photokandi
By photokandi (Feb 11, 2012)

Wow, what a set of depressing photos! Is there no joy in the World anymore? The winning shot is obviously set up.

3 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 11, 2012)

Joy and sadness are both part of our world. Unfortunately, the latter is taking over...

2 upvotes
unotisto
By unotisto (Feb 11, 2012)

Set up? Something else is taking over, methinks...

2 upvotes
David Lawson
By David Lawson (Feb 11, 2012)

Makes me say to myself not such a wonderful world

2 upvotes
sarkozy
By sarkozy (Feb 11, 2012)

I think this is not real

Crap, why have not taken mine?

http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/6127154653/photos/1735834/mekl

4 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Feb 11, 2012)

Because your a tonal conceptualist who's subject matter is politically controversial ;)

1 upvote
ladietadipoldo
By ladietadipoldo (Feb 11, 2012)

If you do not understand what is the difference between this and your photos, change hobbies

5 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 11, 2012)

Erm... because it has no emotional content?

4 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (Feb 11, 2012)

+1

1 upvote
oselimg
By oselimg (Feb 11, 2012)

@sarkozy. I've checked your link. You are right. Wow!!! what a great shot, I am blown away. What gear did you use?

0 upvotes
Jackson22
By Jackson22 (Feb 11, 2012)

joking? if not,as d other response.....get another hobby.

0 upvotes
BelePhotography
By BelePhotography (Feb 11, 2012)

Most comments in here tell me only one thing. Pixelpeepers and gearheads will never grasp the art of photography. I find it a brilliant capture symbolizing in more than one way the struggle large parts of the arabic society is still going through...

13 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 11, 2012)

+1

0 upvotes
Pappy84
By Pappy84 (Feb 11, 2012)

+38

0 upvotes
Alex West
By Alex West (Feb 14, 2012)

- 100

0 upvotes
korando
By korando (Feb 11, 2012)

Just for non believers of facts and what happens there ,
- refer to any channel focus on Yemen and see by yourself , if we can go right the picture a little you will see another victims , it,s a shame you make fun of this woman ( think another time and don't be ignorant to any people who in suffer ) .

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Gary CG
By Gary CG (Feb 11, 2012)

Brilliant. Look at the woman's skin tones there. Not an easy capture!

Totally staged. Garbage actually. These idiots who hand out these gongs need their heads banging together.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
DUMB4SS
By DUMB4SS (Feb 11, 2012)

Just wondering - Why does the 4 square inches of her skin that are visible make a good capture?

The mood and the moment yes
The composition and the dramatic light yes, but not her skin.

1 upvote
skimble
By skimble (Feb 11, 2012)

for me it does not represents sorrow for a relative, it more looks like a model scene. If someone I love is hurt I want to feel him not wear cloves like I need to protect myself from some sort of disease.
Sorry it looks fabricated even if it is real.

5 upvotes
Rmano
By Rmano (Feb 11, 2012)

Maybe she's a nurse. Could be if you see the rest of series. And no, I don't think that pixel- or scene- peeping has any sense here, The photo has a real strong emotional content and a story in it. That's all.

0 upvotes
Ceesprof
By Ceesprof (Feb 11, 2012)

I totally disagree with iaredatsun. The picture reminds us of a "piëta" ( mother maria with Jesus after the crucifixion). Although I belief that the photographer did not have it in mind when he took the picture, this is a kind of Muslim piëta.
It expresses sorrow and care. In that sense this photo represents the feelings of the people.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Alfie Smith
By Alfie Smith (Feb 11, 2012)

I don't like this pic because I didn't believe is real. Oh yes, it was taken in Yemen.. I can believe... but, That's all.
Maybe it won because it was published in The New York Times??? 10-15-2011.

4 upvotes
Alfie Smith
By Alfie Smith (Feb 11, 2012)

I will change a bit my opinion, watching here
http://www.samuelaranda.net/
and pick
New features :

"Yemen, Fighting for Change".

0 upvotes
iaredatsun
By iaredatsun (Feb 11, 2012)

Why did he make it look like an advert for an arts-dance-theatre production? It makes me think that reality no longer provides strong enough 'images' when compared with the plasticity of art-directed photography. I think the theatricality wholly undermines his subject.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Bart Roskam
By Bart Roskam (Feb 11, 2012)

I think this picture was chosen (partly) for political reasons. Currently in Europe, there are lots of debates going on about veils and burka's and whether to allow them or not. In these debates, little notice is given to the humanity of the people who wear these clothes. All that we hear is arguments about security and oppression, freedom of religion, et cetera. This picture shows the caring woman inside the burka. It reminds everyone participating in this debate that we are talking about people here. In a similar way the movie Persepolis did for me, it can remind us of humanity, even if it is dressed differently.

4 upvotes
PAUL TILL
By PAUL TILL (Feb 11, 2012)

Do we really know it is a woman under there?

4 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (Feb 13, 2012)

Either that - or a man with shaved wrists, flowers on his gloves and a pretty bag to sport.

Would you consider the image less of a winner if it was in fact a cross-dressing arab male?

0 upvotes
tessl8d
By tessl8d (Feb 11, 2012)

I like this photo for the way the black silhoutted female figure highlights the diagonals which lead up to the head of the male. Her dirtied white gloved hands are the the most emotive reference to the scene, suffering and pain seems to be directly conveyed through them. it reminds me of a lamentation of Christ style early renaissance (Pieta/Vesperbild)composition. Mr Aranda seems to have a sound classical grounding. The smooth textures and lack of grain make this image seem sterile and therefore 'manufactured', but I find it really is very well structured and engaging.

1 upvote
Dustinash
By Dustinash (Feb 11, 2012)

I doubt its staged because the lighting absolutely sucks. Its got decent story, decent composition but I would not consider this a world calibre peice of art. It lacks something compelling.

1 upvote
WhoDoWaz
By WhoDoWaz (Feb 11, 2012)

Ummm it's not meant to be "art" in that sense. This is a case of life imitating art for some, sure, but it's really about human suffering and how it transcends culture, race and any other division you'd care to ascribe to people. "It lacks something compelling"? Are we looking at the same image?????

2 upvotes
njkdo
By njkdo (Feb 11, 2012)

...and from which movie it is?

When they filmed lager at the first time, they will be aware to insert context and not only people, to make that after 40 years nobody could not say...this is a nice movie.
Anyway is a great pic, real or not.
Photojurnalism have to show us horror, so we can uderstand from our nice life how much bad things are around us, this was from the start of this activity.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nismo350Z
By Nismo350Z (Feb 11, 2012)

Anyone could have created this scene in their basement. Hmm, that gives me an idea for next year...

2 upvotes
lajka
By lajka (Feb 11, 2012)

World Press Photo contests are like vampires. They live on blood and suffering. Just watch the most of winners in past years. The more blood, tears and distruction the better. Wouldn`t be supprised the novices yearning for the title of the best world photographer of the year, would hone their skills in the morgue. The photo above is NIHIl NOVE SUB SOLE. It`s too much exploited (composition like) theme of Michelangelos Buonarottis PIETA .

4 upvotes
M1963
By M1963 (Feb 11, 2012)

Agree about the Pietà, not with the rest. This is our world, a world of war, violence, unrest, racism, fanaticism and intolerance. Someone has to depict it. What would you propose? Photos of flowers with 'creamy bokeh'? Children playing in the park? I concede there's an excessive exploitation of some 'darker' subjects by WPF, but, as I implied, that's our reality. Unfortunately.

1 upvote
wb2trf
By wb2trf (Feb 11, 2012)

I don't think the judges are wrong. I think this is an amazing and great photo.

2 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (Feb 11, 2012)

Photo contests are stupid.

0 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Feb 11, 2012)

Hm...I always found photo contests kind of nice. Exciting, spurs taking of photos.

But people constantly reuse old photos. And the voting opinion ranges so much when it's up to the public that whichever photo wins is really just the most generically powerful.

Suddenly I agree...photo contests are stupid (often, not always)

0 upvotes
EvokeEmotion
By EvokeEmotion (Feb 16, 2012)

Photo contests are stupid if you never win. You'll change your thinking once you do.

0 upvotes
jj74e
By jj74e (Feb 11, 2012)

I thought there were other photos that were taken much better. Certainly the moment in this photo is powerful...but photographically for me the only point of interest is the subject itself, not how the subject was photographed. I guess negative emotions are an easier thing to capture and pull on peoples' (voting) heart strings.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Feb 11, 2012)

Forget this...The real overall winner, to me, was Damir Sagolj "North Korea" (First Prize, Daily Life).
Now THAT's a photo...
PK

5 upvotes
Soverain
By Soverain (Feb 11, 2012)

Agreed, that's without a doubt the one that caught me.

The most painful one to watch was the one from a bombing in Afghanistan...

The pictures from Utøya caused quite a lot of controversy in Norway, by the way.

0 upvotes
PhotoKhan
By PhotoKhan (Feb 11, 2012)

The thing is (...and I apologize if this was not the case or sounds insensible to you guys...) that, in it's essence, the winning photo has been done sometimes before.

We may now even be running the risk that crise-scene reporters are aiming their cameras at similar situations subliminally influenced by the reception over previous ones.

To me, photo-journalism is the only area where photography can aspire to transcend itself into"Art" (...simply by meta-crystallizing into being what it really always has been...) instead of grossly and explicitly aiming to be so.

As such, I am very demanding on this beloved type of photography.

To me, it has to illustrate reality, while managing to find an UNIQUE perspective, one that, while evoking a turmoil of feelings and myriad of almost synaptic relations, actually demonstrably makes dispensable the proverbial thousand words.

...and Damir Sagolj's "North Korea" has monumentally achieved that.

PK

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
chris_j_l
By chris_j_l (Feb 11, 2012)

Many seem to have been processed through something that looks like a National Geographic Filter.

1 upvote
dtmoody
By dtmoody (Feb 11, 2012)

tired of seeing images of despair win out over something more positive.

11 upvotes
Tlipp
By Tlipp (Feb 11, 2012)

Rather see a frog!

4 upvotes
chystokletov
By chystokletov (Feb 11, 2012)

You rather see a photo of a frog winning World Press Photo 2011 award?

0 upvotes
moimoi
By moimoi (Feb 11, 2012)

That's photojournalism, and it is clearly not dead, too bad Dan.

Fantastic pictures.

PS: I enjoy the rugby photo a lot. Go Blues!!!

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
starwolfy
By starwolfy (Feb 11, 2012)

People are not interested into what you say: happiness, joy etc.
They want to see the worse because only the worse impress and amaz them.
They want to see war pictures, dead bodies, destroyed cities or poor areas like india, africa. About portraiture, if you subject is a weird homeless full of scars the best it is.
Nowadays photo journalism is not related to art like it use to be at it starting days. It only focusses on sensational because it is what people like to see. Most of People are just pervs.
I really like this picture of Samuel Aranda as he gives emotion of Hope and Peace, Warmth of the mother...or wife (It is same for a man).
"You will be allright my love"
It is also a message about bourkha, what the woman is wearing. I think it shows something different of our belief as westerns (or what medias want to force us to believe). Bourkha has more to do with protection than slavery in a place where there are sometimes no rules. It is aimed to protect their/our mothers.

4 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (Feb 11, 2012)

About the Bourka being a protection. Since you made political point about it gives me a right to reply and begs these questions. From what? Who created the danger? Against whom? Before predictably using the "Western countries" excuse I think the natives should look at the society they created where women should be "protected". I am someone was born from muslim parents and live in a predominantly muslim country. Sorry but the Bourka is an indication of women being worthless objects who should be protected from "pervert, dangerous masses of men" as all other types of so called religious coverings of women claim to "protect" them. Before we accuse western countries for distorting our self perception one must take responsibility for ills in his/her society. Don't be even more orientalist than the western orientalist.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Feb 11, 2012)

I was trying to look for themes of:

Happiness

Joy

Laughter

Triumph

Instead... the same sad recipe year after year...

The winners are ultimately chosen by people who vote on them.

It sadly reflects their essence.

18 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Feb 11, 2012)

You are 100% correct. Straining to politicize, too.

4 upvotes
Snaaks
By Snaaks (Feb 11, 2012)

enscenated picture. Cheap thrill

1 upvote
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Feb 11, 2012)

Photojournalism is alive!

2 upvotes
RicohGRDIV
By RicohGRDIV (Feb 11, 2012)

Nice field of entries as usual. Sadly after following the Awards for many years, the topics are the same, death, suffering and destruction. All in the usual places. Great photos, showing the sad reality facing too many people.

9 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Feb 11, 2012)

No way...

0 upvotes
BMWX5
By BMWX5 (Feb 11, 2012)

After looking at it again, it reminds me of Mary and Jesus by Michelangelo without the veil. It is a powerful photo but I prefer "Ironman" or "A Mouthful"

0 upvotes
MiaD
By MiaD (Feb 12, 2012)

La Pieta

0 upvotes
John Beavin
By John Beavin (Feb 12, 2012)

I have not looked at all the entries, but find it hard to see why this was picked to win, there are many more deserving images.

0 upvotes
smallcams
By smallcams (Feb 11, 2012)

Really?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Total comments: 173
12